Whether it’s chair yoga, art lessons, bingo or just quick lunch, a county’s newest senior center offers a little something for everyone.
The Fallbrook Center for Healthy Aging, 185 Fallbrook St., Carbondale opened in June. It’s United Neighborhood Centers of Northeast Pennsylvania third senior center campus, joining a main campus in West Scranton and a satellite campus in Jessup.
UNC receives funding from multiple sources, including donations and grants from the various levels of government. The Lackawanna Area Agency on Aging works with UNC to facilitate these centers to provide holistic care to any adult over the age of 60 residing in Lackawanna County.
“We provide a variety of programming, both in person and virtual, including yoga, art, pet therapy, and bingo,” said Sarah Bodner, director of Community Health and Aging for UNC. “We offer diverse programming to appeal to more people and to provide a safe and friendly environment.”
Bodner said officials recognized the need for a third center to open and said they chose Carbondale in part because Scranton can be a long journey for some.
The healthy aging centers were busy pre-pandemic, said Lisa Durkin, UNC’s CEO. Each center provided resources, programs, and food for 50 to 100 adults per day. Durkin hopes that the Fallbrook center can bring in as many or more adults in the area.
“We hope it becomes the center of choice for many people in the community. We want to be a center where everyone feels welcome and gets all their needs met,” said Durkin.
Bodner emphasized the well-rounded approach UNC takes with its aging adults. While there is always a focus on the physical health of seniors, UNC wants to also include a holistic approach that targets mental and emotional health as well.
One of those needs for aging adults is food. According to the National Council on Aging, 7.3 million adults over the age of 60 experienced some form of food insecurity. That amounts to around 10% of all Americans aged 60 or older. UNC provides grab and go lunches every day for adults who reserve a meal the day prior.
Other services that UNC provides for aging adults — as well as their families — include educational resources, transportation for those 65 years of age and older and health screenings.
Each month’s calendar is packed with events at each campus that UNC operates. Some of the more popular events are chair yoga on Thursdays, Fridays in the Park, which changes venues each week, and yoga on Mondays, which includes a free smoothie afterwards.
In an effort to provide nutritional assistance to the community, UNC currently has a farmers market in South Scranton to bring fresh food to the community. After receiving funding from the Moses Taylor Foundation, UNC is launching another farmers market for the Fallbrook center. A preview of the market took place in July and drew a large crowd. The market will be held every Thursday from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Fallbrook center starting Sept. 9. Durkin is excited about the upcoming project.
“It’ll be nice to bring fresh local food into the Carbondale community,” said Durkin.
The Carbondale center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday, with additional hours for special events. To reserve a lunch or for more information about programming or transportation, call the center at 570-580-9765 or visit www.uncnepa.org/older-adult.